XO-3 Announcement?

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Mon Jan 9 12:10:50 EST 2012

On Jan 7, 2012, at 8:49 PM, Chris Leonard wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM, Alan Eliasen <eliasen at mindspring.com> wrote:
>>  Does anyone have any comments about the XO-3 announcement here?
>>   http://tinyurl.com/74vd7ec
>>   I'd think that the smart people who are actually doing all the work
>> here might have talked about it more!

Fortunately, I still am an OLPC employee!
XO-3 has been condensing for the last year, mostly as an industrial
design effort while XO-1.75 (which has been discussed on this list,
and distributed to a number of developers) provided the platform for
hardware and software development.

>>   I'm also curious about the power claims.  What is its power
>> consumption and charging requirements?  Has it actually been
>> demonstrated to be chargeable by "solar panels, hand cranks and other
>> alternative power sources?"  Especially ones not requiring systems which
>> cost many times more than the price of the laptop, nor require someone
>> with the green skin color of the XO to crank.
> ...
> If you've been following XO-1.75 development on this list, it might be
> helpful to think of the XO-1.75 as an evolutionary step towards the
> XO-3.0...

Right!  At this stage in development, the XO-1.75 actually consumes
one to two watts less than the XO-3, due to the low power PixelQi
screen and the DCON architecture used throughout the XO-1 laptops.
We intend on providing those in a later B-stage XO-3 tablet, but need
to get a PixelQi display of appropriate size and a new DCON developed.
Theoretically, the power consumption of the laptop and the tablet should
be equal (given the same screen size).

We not only support input from solar panels (accepting input voltages
from 11 to 24V on the DC input) we also support maximum power point
tracking on the input if it is sensed to have a "high" input impedance (such
as a solar cell).   Solar power is used to charge laptops in both XO-1
and XO-1.5 deployments.  XO-1.75 has the same DC input/battery, and
operates using less power --- it finally reaches the power goals that OLPC
set six years ago.

With a 2 to 3W power consumption, a laptop/tablet becomes feasible
to use with power coming from a hand crank providing 10W --- crank
for five minutes to get twenty minutes of use.   We support charging
at up to 25W, close to the limit of human powered charging, for more
ambitious quick charging schemes (such as treadmills or stationary
bikes).    If this is used as a backup for solar charging, it becomes
even more acceptable.

> ...I'm really excited by the possibilities that a virtual
> keyboard on the tablet XO-3.0 will represent for ease of localization,
> no more messy, physical,  custom silk-screening of rubber membranes as
> a limitation on the potentially available keyboard options, just
> invoke different file(s) for a new keyboard layout.

It is the elimination of the keyboard that excites me most about a tablet.
It is difficult to prevent keyboard breakage, and the keyboard customization
that we recommend so kids can work in their own alphabet impacts
delivery times and production volumes.

> My current understanding is that the firmware will be the latest and
> greatest in Open Firmware, with OLPC's specific needs being addressed
> by contributions from OLPC coders.  If you've been watching the devel
> list, you've probably seen a fair amount of traffic about Fedora on
> ARM.  Just like Sugar on earlier XO models, the Sugar UI on the
> XO-1.75 (and XO-3) sits on top of what is basically a Fedora Linux OS
> spin,.  Obviously the packages are a little different (they are ported
> to ARM) but they still come from Fedora repos.

With an ARM SoC, we are finally being forced to consider specialised
builds of Fedora as hard floating point support is required for the best
performance.  But we haven't gone there yet.

> Being an ARM processor, it is not a huge mental leap to imagine that
> Android code can be used. although I'm not sure why you would do that in
> an educational setting, but "open" means "open", so sure, why not let
> people know about that possibility and bask in the Android spotlight
> at CES.
With the laptops, support for Windows was a requirement for some
customers even though they didn't actually purchases                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     any laptops w. Windows installed.   Android is the equivalent for
tablets --- if you don't support it, you are viewed as deficient.

> None of this information has been hidden from public view.  In fact
> there is a lot more in terms of details on the wiki, but being a wiki,
> the details are subject to change. :-)
Or more likely, obscured by all the old, out of date or speculative, info.
See http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_3_A1 for the latest prototype info.

> I anxiously await the results of the helicopter drop test :-)
I thought tablets could fly...


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